Linn County Auditor Calls Voting Restrictions “Vindictive”
You would think that lawmakers everywhere would want to make it easier for their constituents to vote during elections. But a pair of bills being considered by the Iowa Legislature actually toughen voting laws in the state, making it harder for Iowa residents to vote by mail.
The bills would do a variety of things involving early voting by absentee ballots, including reducing the amount of early voting days in Iowa from 29 down to 18. Linn County Auditor Joel Miller calls the new rules 'vindictive.' In 2016 Iowans had 40 days to vote early, but Republican lawmakers shortened it to 29 days a few years ago, according to CBS2.
Miller went on to tell CBS2 that the new bills are "an affront to every county auditor in the State, with a passion for creativity, election integrity, and increasing voter turnout." The bills were both discussed in subcommittee hearings in both the Iowa House and Senate on Wednesday.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Senator Jason Schultz, and Republican from Schleswig, spoke out in favor of the bills because of "what our country is going through right now." Schultz claimed, without any evidence, that there were "shady dealings across the country" during the election. No reports of widespread fraud were found during the 2020 election.
In Iowa, the Gazette reports that a record 1.7 million voters participated in the most recent election, a nearly 76 percent voter turnout. No major allegations of fraud were found. Over 1 million Iowans voted early or by absentee due to fears of COVID-19.